Since decades the major trend of Japanese photography is definitely ‘straight photography’ with all its derivations (street photography, cityscapes, portraits, e.g.). A lesser role plays conceptual photography like the works by Hiroshi Sugimoto or Naoya Hatakeyama. But even these photographers usually use their cameras in a traditional way, that is they don’t (overly) manipulate their works during the production process.
Maybe it’s just my selective perception, but in contrary to the ‘straight’ approach on reality the experimental, manipulative use of the medium photography as a tool for to produce works of art is not very widespread in Japan.
For this reason, I am very curious about an exhibition which just started at the Punctum Gallery, Tokyo, with the title “THE EXPOSED of the art vol.2 PHOTOGRAPHS: OVEREXPOSED” (until July 15).I have not visited Punctum Gallery yet, but the list of supporters of the place looks interesting with people from the Japanese (Kyoto) art scene like Minoru Shimizu (Critic), Issei Suda (Photographer), Noriko Fuku (Independent Curator) or Shingo Wakagi (Photographer)
The exhibition hosts eleven artists: Yu Ukai, Yumiko Utsu, Ryosuke Kikuchi, Taisuke Koyama, Masayuki Shioda, John Harte, Yuhki Tohyama, Ryohei Noguchi, Yosuke Bandai, Yoshinori Henguchi, Mayumi Hosorakura. It is curated by Shigeo Goto (and ASP), a critic, editor, curator and teacher. Shigeo Goto is the head of the department APS Art Research & Art Produce at the Kyoto University of Art & Design and who also is the director of the art gallery magical ARTROOM in Tokyo.
Actually, I know only one artist of the exhibition: Yumiko Utsu, and I know her just because Shigeo Goto introduced me to her work when I visited Magical Artroom shortly in April. Therefore I cannot comment on the exhibition, but generally, it might be interesting to see, if some of the artists, who more or less abstain from depicting/ documenting the reality directly, will become more visible in the Tokyo art scene in the near future.